Can someone help me with "La siesta del martes"?

I am reading an abridged version of "La siesta del martes" by Gabriel García Márquez and I am having trouble translating a couple of sentences. Can anyone who has read this before or speaks Spanish help me out? "con la cartera apretada en las dos manos" - is a cartera a purse? I keep finding... show more I am reading an abridged version of "La siesta del martes" by Gabriel García Márquez and I am having trouble translating a couple of sentences. Can anyone who has read this before or speaks Spanish help me out?

"con la cartera apretada en las dos manos" - is a cartera a purse? I keep finding "portfolio" in the dictionary.

"un plumero de palo" - isn't a plumero a feather duster? Does plumero mean "quill?"

"La niña se desabotonó la trabilla del zapato izquierda, se descalzó el talón y lo apoyó en el contrafuerte." - What is a contrafuerte? I keep getting that its an architectural structure in the dictionary, but she is resting her foot on something inside. Also, what is the exact translation of "se descalzó el talon?"

"... como la niña imaginaba y como imaginaba la madre cuando era niña y como debío imaginar el propio sacerdote alguna vez que eran las llaves de San Pedro..." I have trouble following who is imagining what in this sentence... too much imperfect tense for me. Can anyone explain?

Thanks so much for your help. I am trying to do more translation work to practice my Spanish, but get hung up and sometimes a dictionary just doesn't help!
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